January 31, 2014

Links & Web Gems: A True Collectors Site- Prince Valiant A Warrior For All Time

One of the benefits of the web is the explosion of collector sites. These sites are usually a labor of love posted by a collector. For many people who amass collections, the value of their collection is not monetary, but emotionally valuable—and often not for sale. Collections allow people to relive their childhood, connect themselves to a period in history or time they feel strongly about and to keep the past present. Some collect for the thrill of the hunt, as collecting is much like a quest, a lifelong pursuit which can never be complete. When one collects, one experiments with arranging, organizing, and presenting their collection to the world which may serve as a  place of refuge for other collectors. One such collectors site Prince Valiant A Warrior For All Time by Sonny Phillips. This is one of the nicest sites for and by collectors that I have ever come across. The site is beautifully designed and organized and covers every aspect of collecting Prince Valiant from the beautiful toy soldiers produced by Elastolin to the printed mediums of books, comic strips, catalogs and more. The history of Valiant is here alongside a fascinating look at the collectibles associated with the legend.  Everything a collectors site could and should be. No matter what you collect a visit to this website serves as a guide to everything that is right about collecting. 

Here's the web site intro from author Sonny Phillips- created this site for those that love Val and his story and to have a place where we can all share our materials and pictures. I hope that you enjoy your visit and I encourage you to share with us your thoughts and pictures.

Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, is a comic strip created by Hal Foster. It is an epic adventure that has told a continuous story for its entire history. Today it stands out for its realistic panoramas and intelligent and often humorous narrative, which appears below the pictures, without word balloons. The items shown are accurate, but taken from very different time periods ranging from the viking age to the 19th century.

Michigan Toy Soldier Daily Dose 31jan2014

This was a school project that was posted on Facebook. It's a pretty sad commentary on our eduction system. I'll be they even got an A on it.

January 30, 2014

Image for The MichToy Caption Contest #23.

Here is this weeks image for The MichToy Caption Contest #23.
Come up with the wittiest caption for this image you will win a $25.00 gift card from MTSC. Just think... you get free money and you get show off your comedic charms that will fly around the world via our Newsletter, Blog & Facebook page. We will post the winning right here.  You can eMail your entry to: michtoystaff@michtoy.com

MichToy Caption Contest 22 Winner!

It's Thursday so...We Have a Caption Contest 22 Winner! Actually we have two this week. Howard Knouse who entered via Facebook and Truman Chua who entered from our newsletter are this weeks winners of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Judging by the number of similar themed entries we received I think most modeling minds think alike. Firecrackers, cheap prices and closets full of unbuilt kits where mentioned in many an entry. Thanks Howard and Truman and to all of you who entered.

January 26, 2014

Figure of the Week #50: Killer McBash from the Weird Ohs

It's Super Bowl XLVIII Week so we have chosen an old classic from the sixties as our Figure of the Week. Killer McBash from the Weird-Oh's is that wacked out football player from the series of kits many a modeler has cut his teeth on. It's hard to believe but the Weird-Ohs are 50 years old and have been reissued many times over those years and are still on the market today. Fifty years old and still bashing his way down field our hats are off to Mr. McBash our FOTW

Check out our Toys in the Attic - Weird-Ohs Post
The "Weird-Oh's" "Silly Surfers" and "Frantics" kits were originally released by Hawk in the sixties. These comical kits featured bug eyed, big toothed monsters, crazed race car drivers, wacky beach bums, and far out rock and rollers. The Weird-Oh's were designed by Bill Campbell. The original Frantics and Silly Surfers were envisioned by Reuben Klamer, Bob Allen and Mel Shaw. Hawk has gone back and reissued many of these kits!

January 25, 2014

World War I Centenary: How the Doughboys Beat the Kaiser

How the Doughboys Beat the Kaiser is an excellent essay in the January 25-26, 2014 edition of Wall Street Journal by Nick Lloyd who is a senior lecturer at King's College London and author of the excellent new book "Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I" on the often ignored or played down role the United States had in bringing an end to the war. 

"U.S. military power helped to bring the war to an end—a prospect at which the German government scoffed in 1917. When Kaiser Wilhelm II was warned that unrestricted submarine warfare—and the losses it would inflict on the U.S. merchant fleet—might provoke U.S. belligerence, he scribbled in a memo, "I do not care." Even if the Americans did declare war on Germany, he blustered, they were just a bunch of cowboys with an army barely worthy of the name. What use would these weaklings be against Germany's legions?"

Hundred Days: The Campaign That Ended World War I 
by Nick Lloyd 

In the late summer of 1918, after four long years of senseless, stagnant fighting, the Western Front erupted. The bitter four-month struggle that ensued—known as the Hundred Days Campaign—saw some of the bloodiest and most ferocious combat of the Great War, as the Allies grimly worked to break the stalemate in the west and end the conflict that had decimated Europe.

In Hundred Days, acclaimed military historian Nick Lloyd leads readers into the endgame of World War I, showing how the timely arrival of American men and materiel—as well as the bravery of French, British, and Commonwealth soldiers—helped to turn the tide on the Western Front. Many of these battle-hardened troops had endured years of terror in the trenches, clinging to their resolve through poison-gas attacks and fruitless assaults across no man’s land. Finally, in July 1918, they and their American allies did the impossible: they returned movement to the western theater. Using surprise attacks, innovative artillery tactics, and swarms of tanks and aircraft, they pushed the Germans out of their trenches and forced them back to their final bastion: the Hindenburg Line, a formidable network of dugouts, barbed wire, and pillboxes. After a massive assault, the Allies broke through, racing toward the Rhine and forcing Kaiser Wilhelm II to sue for peace.

An epic tale ranging from the ravaged fields of Flanders to the revolutionary streets of Berlin, Hundred Days recalls the bravery and sacrifice that finally silenced the guns of Europe.

First To Fight Models Are Now at Michigan Toy Soldier

We are pleased to announce the addition of First To Fight to our product lines. First to Fight is a Polish manufacturer that produces 1/72nd scale "Quick build" model kits focusing on the start of World War II and 1939 invasion of Poland.

From the company web site-
1st September 2014 will mark the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II. On this occasion we present you a unique collection about the Defense of Poland in 1939. Our collection is mainly focused on armament, uniforms and organization of various army formations of both sides of this conflict, as well as more or less known episodes and battles from 1939. The September Campaign is a very important, albeit sometimes forgotten, page in the history of Poland. It is impossible to picture the ethos of Polish fight for independence without the memory of those heroic and often times tragic events. 

Daily Dose- Underwater Miniatures

Jules Verne might have written the classic 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, but now one British photographer has created his own hilarious version of what a life beneath the waves might entail. 
Underwater photographer, Jason Isley, decided to have a bit of fun for a change with some of the smaller colorful reef fish in Borneo and Indonesia. So he got a selection of toy figures from soldiers to sunbathers and photographed them in a set of hilarious scenes as they interacted with the fish and other sea creatures

January 24, 2014

Airfix Celebrates its 75th Anniversary + A World War One Special

It's hard to believe that Airfix in one form or another has been around for 75 years.  There is no doubt that at some point every modeler out there was exposed to an Airfix kit not to mention all the plastic figure collectors who owe a big debt to Airfix especially in 1/72nd scale. Countless hours building kits and playing with soldiers came about because of companies like this. So congratulations Airfix on 75 years of keeping us young. 

On a related note fans of WWI modeling will want to track down a copy of Airfix Model World Issue 36. This is their World War One Special and as I write this I have the issue in my sweaty little hands and it is an absolutely fantastic issue covering the following-

- Advanced Build – Fokker Eindecker E.III
Steve Budd does a stellar job with Wingnut Wings’ late version of this classic fighter.

- Military Build – World War One Male Tank Mk.I
Richard Langford converts Airfix’s Male Tank Mk.I and affords it table-top gaming format.

- Figure Build – Sergeant, Suffolk Regiment, 1914
Pete Watson explains how to convert, paint and base one of a superb range of 54mm Great War figures.

- Advanced Build – Gotha G.IV
Jan Maes has his hands full with Wingnut Wings’ gargantuan 1/32 Gotha G.IV.

- Advanced Build – Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8
By relatively simple means, Peter Fearis updates Airfix’s long-in-the tooth R.E.8 biplane. Malcolm V. Lowe provides a brief look at the operational history of this fighter-bomber.

- Review Build – SPAD XIII
Jan Maes depicts the SPAD XIII of Charles Nungesser with Eduard’s 1/48 scale kit.
Please note that we can order copies for anyone who is interested. 

January 23, 2014

Caption Contest 21 Winner

We Have a Caption Contest 21 Winner!  Warren Cooper who entered via our Newsletter is this weeks winner of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Lot's of great entries this week! Everyone will be getting a promo code for 20% their next order! Thanks Warren and to all of you who entered.

Visit our Facebook page every Thursday for a new caption contest image and a chance to win a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier

January 22, 2014

Daily Dose 22jan2014

Russian Military Grave Yard

Revell Releases for 2014

Revell has announced their 1/72nd & 1/76th scale releases for the first half of 2014
1/72nd Scale Kits
03131 Leclerc T.5
03301 Russian Battle Tank T-90A
03300 LKW 5t mil gl
1/76th Scale Figures
02616 German Africa Corps WWII

January 17, 2014

Emhar have announced that their latest batch of 1/72 figures

News From Plastic Soldier Review-
Emhar have announced that their latest batch of 1/72 figures will be released this year. Regular observers will know that their catalogue has promised these sets every year for several years, but this time it is really happening. 
The titles are:
  • 7210 - Crested Knights
  • 7214 - Peninsular War British Infantry
  • 7215 - Peninsular War Spanish Infantry
  • 7216 - Peninsular War French Infantry
  • 7217 - Peninsular War Portuguese Infantry
The crested knights set includes six mounted knights with multiple heads/bodies/limbs to construct a variety of figures, with an emphasis on crested helmets and the tournament. Also included is a herald/varlet, a tent and two low-profile grandstands. The British and French wear their pre-1812 uniforms, and the Spanish wear their early war uniform. The Portuguese set is of similar period and is about two-thirds line infantry and one-third cazadore light infantry. All five sets are likely to appear in the Spring.

Links & Web Gems: Figure Painter Magazine Issue 9 Now Available

Figure Painter Magazine Issue 9. 
From the publisher- In this issue we have two brilliant interviews; Aaron Lovejoy is the subject of our Insight Interview and Sandra Garrity, queen of the sculpting tool, spills all. We also have reviews of LeBeN Studio's Gurka Le Rouge and Morko as well as a couple from Model, Design Construction (MDC). We also bring you our gamespace review of "The Walking Dead: Best Defense" board game and as well as all of our regular articles, a fantastic Mech painting tutorial from Charlie Kirkpatrick...

FPM is available as a downloaded PDF for less then $2.00 a copy.  FPM is a independent magazine dedicated to sculpting, painting, displaying, collecting and gaming with miniature figures from all genre's. The magazine has details on new releases, reviews, interviews with the industries top painters and sculptors, show reports, tutorials and a user gallery. 

MiniArt 2014 Catalog is Available as a Free Download

Modelers will take note that MiniArt has sent notice that their 2014 Catalog is available as a free download. The catalog shows a few new items that should be available this year, for example a few Panzer III's, US Motorcycle Riders, GAZ-03-30, GAZ-05-194 Ambulance, German Rail car, and lots more.

January 16, 2014

MichToy Caption Contest #20 Winner

We Have a Caption Contest 20 Winner!  Andy Leffler who entered via our Facebook page is this weeks winner of a $25.00 Gift Card from Michigan Toy Soldier. Thanks Andy and to all of you who entered.

January 15, 2014

AK Interactive January 2014 Releases Have Arrived

AK Interactive's first releases of 2014 are now available including the excellent Realistic Wood Effects book and a nice DVD on Airbrushing. Click Here to view and order

AK Interactive January 2014
AKI-259 Realistic Wood Effects Book
AKI-260 Wood Weathering Enamel Set 35ml Bottle (3)
AKI-270 Soviet War Colors Profile Guide Book
AKI-561 Soviet Camouflage Acrylic Paint Set (6 Colors) 17ml Bottles
AKI-562 Old & Weathered Wood Vol.1 Acrylic Paint Set (6 Colors) 17ml Bottles
AKI-564 Middle East War Colors Vol.1 Acrylic Paint Set (6 Colors) 17ml Bottles
AKI-614 Small Pipettes (12)
AKI-615 Medium Pipettes (7)
AKI-653 Airbrush Essential Training (NTSC) DVD

Product Spotlight: THE ARMY PAINTER

Though originally geared toward wargamers and the painting large armies of figures, The Army Painter has evolved into a one stop figure modeling company whose products appeal to a wide variety of hobbyists. The first product, Quick Shade is designed to shade large armies at once. TAP follwed this with an extensive range of spray primers now well over 20 colors. A range of hobby tools and scenic details followed. Finally TAP has developed an excellent range of acrylic paints, washes and inks under the banner WarPaints. Excellent product support via many on-line tutorials and starter sets for each range adds to the appeal of this popular range of products.
Click Here to view the entire range on our website

TAP-ST5109 Army Painter Metal-Resin Figure Assembly Set
The Metal-Resin Starter Set is a fantastic way to get you started assembling metal miniatures 
TAP-ST5110 Army Painter Plastic Figure Assembly Set
The Plastic Starter Set is a fantastic way to get you started assembling plastic miniatures  
TAP-ST5111 Army Painter MEGA Hobby Set
This set includes everything needed to assemble & glue miniatures, converting, priming, basecoating & painting and even basing the models. From box to finished army – all crammed into one box! 
TAP-ST5112 Army Painter Battlefields Basing Set
The Battlefields Basing Set offers great value, packed full of the best basing materials in the industry. It contains everything needed to personalise your bases and really bring them to life. 
TAP-ST5113 Army Painter Mega Brush Set
With the Mega Brush Set you get the very best Wargames Brushes available - fulfilling every aspect of painting!
TAP-WP8001 Army Painter Warpaints Mega Paint Set
The Mega Paint set includes one of each of the spectacular Warpaints: 28 colours, 5 metallics and 3 Quickshade Inks plus an additional 6 of the popular Wargaming Brushes
TAP-WP8003 Army Painter Warpaints Starter Set
This set is a fantastic introduction to the Warpaints range and has the 9 Colour Primer matching colours you need to get started plus a hobby Brush.
TAP-WP8004 Army Painter: Warpaints Quickshade Ink Set
The complete Quickshade Ink range in one box. The colour toned inks are fabulous tools for adding colour and shading in one wash 
TAP-WP8005 Army Painter: Warpaints Mega Paint Set II
The complete package - with ALL you will ever need for painting armies of miniatures

New Hat Industries 1/72 Scale Sets Now Available

The long anticipated new batch of Hat 1/72nd scale figure are now available. . 
Release E23 includes:
8192 Native Natal Contingent 
8205 Sassanid Levy Infantry 
8212 Carthaginian Veteran Spearmen 
8267 Sassanid Light Infantry 
8272 WWI British Cavalry 
8273 WWI French Cavalry
8274 WWI Turkish Cavalry 
8280 7YW Prussian Infantry, Marching 
8281 7YW Prussian Infantry, Action 
8282 7YW Prussian Infantry, Command
Click Here to order

January 13, 2014

More Blasts From the Past with Airfix 1:32nd Scale Reissues for 2014

Hot on the heels of our posting last week for the Revell 1/32nd scale vehicles & figure issues for 2014 comes news from Airfix on their own 1/32nd reissues for 2014. Following up last years 1/32nd scale reissues comes two more diorama sets ARX-6383 Frontier Checkpoint and the classic ARX-6382 Bamboo House.

Even better news is the reemergence of the Airfix multipose sets. Off the market for years now these popular sets are being reissued as starter sets for modelers. Our hats are off to Airfix for their continued devotion to expanding the modeling hobby and to encourage younger folks with the all in one starter sets. These multipose sets come with the basics need to build and paint the figures within the box as each set includes glue, two brushes and six acrylic paints.

Airfix 1/32nd Releases for 2014
ARX-55210 WWII German Infantry Multipose Set 
ARX-55211 WWII British Infantry Multipose Set 
ARX-55212 WWII US Infantry Multipose Set
ARX-6383 Frontier Checkpoint
ARX-6382 Bamboo House

Airfix 1/32nd Released in 2013
ARX-5360 Monty's Humber Snipe Staff Car
ARX-6360 Rommel's SdKfz 250/3 Halftrack
ARX-6380 Strongpoint WWII Ruined Medical Building
ARX-6381 Desert Outpost Ruined Building

We will post pre-order information as soon as we receive the details.